Major update on Jameson Taillon's status for Chicago Cubs Opening Day

The news on Jameson Taillon is not good.

2024 Chicago Cubs Spring Training
2024 Chicago Cubs Spring Training / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages

The latest update on Jameson Taillon is not encouraging, as the veteran starting pitcher was scratched from his spring training start on Saturday.

Taillon is believed to have suffered a back injury as he was warming up for his start on Saturday. The Chicago Cubs were hopeful that Taillon's setback would be nothing more than the day-to-day variety, but the issue seemed much more severe.

Craig Counsell revealed on Sunday that initial imaging of Taillon's injury was not what the team was anticipating. Counsell did admit that there is a fear that Taillon may not be healthy in time for the start of the regular season. While the Cubs did not provide specifics regarding Taillon's injury, initial speculation is that the veteran could miss the season's first month.

It's not an ideal situation for the team to be in.

The Chicago Cubs pitching depth is already in question.

The Cubs' pitching depth was already going to be tested during the first half; given the injury to Caleb Kilian. Kilian was not expected to be a part of the team's Major League roster at the start of the season. The Cubs were depending on Taillon to become an anchor in the starting rotation in his second season with the team.

The injury to Taillon should all but confirm that Jordan Wicks will be a part of the starting rotation to begin the season. Wicks impressed last September in his first run at the Major League level. Wicks, prior to the injury, was in competition for the fifth starter's spot this Spring. Wicks made a strong case on Sunday as he struck out 7 hitters in 4.1 innings of relief.

It would also seem that Drew Smyly may have an inside track toward returning to the rotation. After a stint in the bullpen last season, Smyly entered Spring Training with the goal of returning to the rotation under Counsell.

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